Face it, who doesn’t love a good, hot cup of coffee? However, is what we are drinking right for every individual? – It’s safe to say the answer is no. From my experience, there are three major questions to determine whether or not coffee is right for you. The first is to assess the health of your adrenals, second is to consider the quality of coffee you choose, and third concerns its preparation.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are the site at which the body produces two vital life-regulating hormones, adrenalin and cortisol. Their main purpose is to aid the body in dealing with stress, especially in “survival” situations.
A commonly used measure of glandular status is an Adrenal Stress Index panel taken via saliva samples. Of the four levels assessing adrenal fatigue, it is my understanding that most people in the US are in stage two or three. Once you hit stage three, aka adrenal exhaustion, the situation has become quite serious. It’s only after this when you reach stage four that your adrenals are classified as being in complete failure in response to stress. Depending on the degree, rebounding properly will be a long dedicated process. I myself tested in early stage three two years ago, and it took roughly six plus months of dedicated effort to bring those little puppies back to life.
Food for thought – if ever you find yourself constantly hitting the snooze button in the morning, it’s a clear message from your adrenals that they are in need of rest and repair. The symptoms correlated with adrenal fatigue are numerous, however here are a few: chronic fatigue (not relieved by sleep), reduced recovery from exercise, low sex drive, hypothyroidism, poor digestion, intolerance to cold, frequent infections, and reduced cognitive function.
All of this is worth mentioning because coffee stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for our flight or fight response), can hinder our parasympathetic function (rest, repair, digest) and further stress the adrenal glands. If you are experiencing any symptoms of hormonal deregulation, you might what to consider alternative methods to normalize energy levels.
As one of the most chemically sprayed crops in the world, the vast majority is chock-full of toxins (pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides). The other big caution about coffee is the fact that is often loaded with fungus, which release nasty mycotoxins. Examples of superficial fungal infections we commonly see today show up as athlete’s foot, jock itch, dandruff, toenail fungus, etc. If not dealt with, a superficial fungal infection can develop into a deep fungal infection, in which the funguses burrow inside their preferred organs – at this point it’s really game on for those guys! Btw, treating a superficial fungal infection topically only masks the symptoms, and does not address the root cause… unfortunately they most certainly will be back. Funguses can also leave the door wide open for parasite infections.
So what the hell do we do then? Pretty simple, go out and buy some high quality organic coffee. In terms of which I would recommend, there are a few out there, however the one I am currently using is from the Bullet Proof Executive.
How to go about preparation:
- Skip the drip and choose either an espresso or and caffé Americano.
The caffeine content in a large drip coffee can reach up to around 300-350mg, where as a single shot espresso shot has roughly 40-70mg. The longer the grounds are exposed to water, the stronger the level. *An Americano is a shot of espresso with water added.
- Go for organic, low toxin coffee
Avoid chemicals and fungus releasing mycotoxins like the plague.
- Add fat!
For one shot of espresso, a nice tablespoon of unsalted grassfed butter, ghee, coconut butter and/or coconut oil will do the trick. The added fat has just turned your coffee into an actual food that will be easier assimilated by your body. Fat also helps tie up the caffeine exposure so it becomes in essence time-released, minimizing the jolt to the adrenal glands – you should notice a nice sustained level of energy with this method. Be sure to blend or mix in the fat well. I especially like blending when I’m using coconut oil, which otherwise tends to separate to the top of the cup. Bullet Proof sells a product called MCT oil (derived the same medium chain triglyceride found in palm/coconut oil). I’ll include the link at the bottom in case you want to read into it and see what else they offer.
- Keep it for mornings
In the morning, the hormone that should send us jumping out of bed and off to work is cortisol. As the day progresses, cortisol should naturally drop while melatonin increases. I would advise not drinking coffee after 2:00pm, as you it will interfere with your natural cortisol/melatonin cycle and can disrupt sleep patterns.
After recently attending a course with Paul Chek, I picked up some useful info on what to do when you travel or when finding good organic coffee is nearly impossible. If you add a small amount of pascalite/bentonite clay (1tsp) in your Americano, it will act as a sponge to absorb toxic chemicals. Just be sure when you near the end, you leave that goop in the cup! Another good item for those on the go situations is to carry a few packs of organic raw coconut butter/coconut oil as your portable fat source (Artisana is an easy brand to find).
Try making your coffee with the tips above and see how you feel. Enjoy!
About the author: Mike is a CHEK HLC II and Studying for a Masters in Human Nutrition to become a licensed nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner. His philosophy incorporates a holistic approach and his focus is nutrition coaching for competitive athletes both in groups and individually. Mike has an extensive athletic back ground which includes Gymnastics and Power lifting. His current main focus though is achieving his Master of Sport ranking in Kettlebell Sport in the 32kg Long Cycle. Look for more articles from Mike in the future, we are proud to have Mike as part of the Old Country Team.
The Fungus Link by Doug Kauffman:
Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James Wilson
Posted by: Z (oh and I added that pic by way of our girl Juliet)